The cold weather did not deter athletes from taking to the road, track and cross-country to kickstart the year. The first Weekend Round Up of 2024 is a bit late, but James Rhodes brings you the highlights of the racing action.

Cross Country County Championships

This weekend saw numerous country cross country championships take place across England. As courses and distances varied, times are not included. Results for any events not mentioned were not on Power of 10 at the time of writing.

A surprisingly dry Denbies Vinyard in Dorking hosted to the Surrey Championships. Aldershot, Farnham & District took three of the top four spots in the senior men’s race. This included victory for Joseph O’Connell. Jack Kavanagh of Holland Sports was second, five seconds behind. It was AFD top of the senior women’s race too, as forty seconds separated Georgie Bruinvels from Kingston’s Phoebe Law in second.

The biggest margin of victory went to Jess Gibbon at the Oxfordshire Championships. She won the senior women’s race (as a guest athlete) by over three minutes from Anna Kelly of White Horse Harriers. Radley’s Oliver Conway won the senior men’s race.

It was a Tonbridge one-two in the senior men’s race at the Kent Championships at Brands Hatch. Racing over 12km, James Kingston took victory ahead of Ben Cole, with Ashford’s Marshall Smith completing the podium. Tonbridge athletes additionally finished fourth, fifth and sixth to comfortably take the team title. Cambridge Harrier Holly Dixon was a clear winner in the senior women’s race over 8.35km. Blackheath & Bromley’s Naomi Kingston and Chloe Sharp finished second and third respectively.

James Kingston after winning the Kent Championships. Photo: Mark Hookway

Lizzy Janes of Herts Phoenix recorded a commanding victory at the Hertfordshire Championships, finishing over a minute ahead of Indira Patel of Loughborough Students and Dacorum’s Kate Rennie. There was additional success for Herts Phoenix in the senior men’s race thanks to Brett Rushman. Just eight seconds separated him from Tom Butler of Shaftesbury Barnet, with Herts Phoenix’s John Eves third.

Still Going!

The Yorkshire Championships saw Olympic 800m finalist Alex Bell take victory in the senior women’s race. Held in Ripon, Bethan Morley and Katy Wood completed the podium with 12 seconds separating first and second. Angus Mcmillan of City of York won the senior men’s race by over one minute.

At Quibell Park in Scunthorpe, there were wins for Bridlington Road Runner Joanna Dagnan and Daniel James of Cleethorpes in the respective senior races at the Humber Championships. Elsewhere, City of Norwich’s Mabel Beckett and Tyler Bilyard of Great Yarmouth took victories at the Norfolk Championships. Richard Slade of Chiltern and Bedford’s Lauren Nichols did the same at the Bedfordshire Championships in Biggleswade.

Helen Hall of Winchester Running Club and City of Portsmouth’s Lachlan Wellington won the senior races at the Hampshire Championships in Botley. Katie Olding of Thames Valley Harriers and Highgate’s Terry Fawden were victorious at the Middlesex Championships. Witton Park in Blackburn played host to the Lancashire Championships. Daniel Bebbington of Blackburn Harriers and Emma McColm of Preston Harriers recorded senior victories.

Husband and wife Tom Evans and Sophie Coldwell were joined atop the winner’s podium at the Leicestershire Championships. Good runs secured senior titles for Finlay Ward of Rugby & Northampton and Kettering Town Harrier Alice Bates at the Northamptonshire Championships.

It was a good day for Hallamshire at the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Championships. Lauren Heyes and Daniel Haworth won the respective senior races. Joanna Marsden and James Tilley won the Cheshire Championships on Saturday, with honours at the Essex Championships going to Lauren Reed and Callum Charleston.

Competitions in Cambridgeshire and Merseyside were unfortunately cancelled.

To the Roads

Multiple road races also took place this weekend despite the plethora of cross-country championships.

One of the fastest times over 13.1 miles of the weekend was Edward Buck’s 66:36 at the Battersea Park Half Marathon. He won by over six minutes. Katie McArthur (85:47) recorded the fastest time of the women racing, with Ellie Robinson (86:11) less than thirty seconds behind. Staying in London, Maeve Kenny (86:13) and Christian Garvey (75:13) were quickest at the Victoria Park Half Marathon. The associated 10k went to Amy Clements (36:09) and Gabriel Smith (33:23), whilst Ed Sharpe (16:39) and Nancy Edwards (20:33) were victors of the 5k.

Honours at the Central Lancashire New Year’s Half Marathon went to Thomas Charles (68:01) and Helen Harrington (87:19). Sullivan Smith (75:15) and Lucy Barnes (87:37) won the Welwyn Half Marathon organised by Active Training World.

Racing over ten kilometres, there were victories for Michael Holness (34:22) and Jess Kordecki (43:24) at the Tatton Park 10k. Jane Hannigan (41:42) and Lewis Sullivan (35:39) won the Regent’s Park Winter 10k, and Cameron Weir (35:58) and Christine Halls (40:10) the Woodcote 10k.

Jack Chennell (33:14) and Rosanna Andrews (39:03) were quickest at the Oundle New Year 10k. Joanna Male (17:45) and Tadas Kalkauskas (19:13) crossed the line first in the associated 5k. South West Road Runners’ First Chance 10k in Exeter provided wins to Alice Kelly (36:16) and Ben Neale (31:58). Cassie Thorp (34:41) and Aiden Lennan (30:54) set the fastest times at the Stubbington 10k.

North of the border, there were wins for Jim Tole (34:26) and Eve Sealy (40:51) at Tuesday’s Lumphanan Detox 10k. Emma Creasey (37:51) and Jonathon Downey (33:54) won the Beith Harriers New Year’s 10k.

Shorter Distances

Matt Crehan (14:54) and Emma Fraser (21:08) were quickest at the Love Jasmin Halewood 5k organised by Knowsley Harriers. The January edition of the No Walk in the Park 5k in Chesterfield provided Amy Wheeler (20:33) and Deano Carline (19:55) with victories. Elsewhere Tom Dunlop (17:12) and Betty Richardson (19:15) won the Cockermouth Greenway 5k.

Ben Fish (26:52) and Sophie Wood (28:03) set impressive times in winning the Hit the Trail 5 in Stockport. Over the same distance, Sam Plant (29:36) was victorious at the Fladbury 5, winning by over 90 seconds. He was joined on the winner’s podium by Jane Fairbairn (34:45). Ben Short (54:47) and Jessica Prior (67:33) won the largely off-road Tadworth 10.